Literary Criticism Sources
Literary Criticism describes, interprets and evaluates literary works, such as novels, drama, poetry and short stories. You may also use literary criticism to describe the methods or principals used to examine literature.
Beachman, Walton. Research Guide to Biography and Criticism: Literature. 2 vols.. 1985. Ref. Z2011,R47 1985.
A guide to sources of study for British and American poets, novelists, and prose writers.
Patterson, Margaret C. Literary Research Guide. 2nd ed. 1983. Z6511.P37 1983.
An evaluation, annotated bibliography of literary research sources, including reference words and periodicals. Includes sources for background reading for all world literature and genres.
Adleman, Irving and Rita Dworkin. The Contemporary Novel. 1972. Ref. Z1231.F4 A34
A list of critical studies on the British and American novelists since 1945.
Fitzgerald, Louise S. and Elizabeth I. Kearny. The Continental Novel: A Checklist of Criticism in English, 1967-1980. 1983. Ref. Z5916.F57 1983.
Lists criticism written in the twentieth century about continental European novels. Continues the selective list of criticism by Kearny listed below.
Gerstenberger, Donna and George Hendrick. The American Novel 1789-1959: A Checklist of 20th Century Criticism. 1961. Ref. Z1231.F4G4
Lists critical studies about individual novels. Volume1 lists criticism written for works written from 1789-1959.
Kearny, Elizabeth I. And Louise S. Fitzgerald. The Continental Novel: A Checklist of Criticism in English, 1900-1959. 1968. Ref. Z5916.K4
Lists criticism written in the twentieth century about continental novels.
Palmer, Helen H. and Anne Jane Dyson. English Novel Explication: Criticisms to 1972. 1973. Ref. Z2014.F5P26
Lists criticism about English novels. Only includes criticism that considers the entire novel or with large or important sections of the work. Supplement I-IV include criticism published through 1989.
Novels: Collections of Essays
Magill, Frank Northern. Critical Survey of Long Fiction: English Language Series. 8 vols. 1983.
Reference Stacks: PN3451.C7 1991
Volumes 1-7 contain brief critical essays about 272 English language writer. Volume 8 contains survey essays on the history and development of novel and novella as a literary genre. Supplement volume brings coverage up to 1987.
Magill, Frank N. Critical Survey of Short Fiction. 7 vols. 1981. Ref. PN 3321.C7
Critical essays on the work of major authors of all periods and nationalities. Includes brief analyses of 390 current writers, and essays on important aspect of the short story (i.e. the narrative point of view.)
IBID. Short Story Criticism (SSC). 1988- . Ref. PN3373.S56
Contains excerpts from criticism of the works of major short story writers of al time periods and nationalities. Includes annotated bibliographies.
Thurston, Jarvis A. Short Fiction Criticism: A Checklist of Interpretations Since 1925 of Stories and Novelettes (American, British, Continental) 1800-1958. 1960. Ref. Z5917.S5T5
Lists criticisms published since 1925 in periodicals and books about short stories and novellas that were written between 1800-1958.
Walker, Warren S. Twentieth-Century Short Story Explication: Interpretations, 1900-1975, of Short Fiction Since 1800. 3rd ed. 1977. Ref. Z5917.S5 W33
Lists criticism about short stories published in books and periodicals. Supplement I-IV bring the coverage up to 1986.
Weixlmann, Joseph. American Short Fiction Criticism and Scholarship, 1959-1977: A Checklist. 1982. Ref. Z1231.F4 W43
Lists criticism about short fiction by 500 American authors. Supplements the Thurston edition listed above.
Excerpts from Literary Criticism
Contemporary Literary Criticism (CLC). 1973- . Reference Stacks: PN771.C59
Contains excerpts from English language criticism about the work of living authors or authors who have been deceased since 1960.
Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism (NCLC). 1981- . Reference Stacks: PN761.N5
Contains excerpts from significant English language criticism about authors who lived from 1800-1900.
Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism (TCLC). 1978- . Reference Stacks: PN771.627
Excerpts from English language criticism about authors of all nationalities who lived from 1900-1960.
Adelman, Irving and Rita Dworkin. Modern Drama: A Checklist of Critical Literature on
20thCentury Plays. 1967. Reference Stacks: Z5781.A35
A bibliography of critical literature on 20th century plays. International in scope.
Eddleman, Floyd Eugene. American Drama Criticism: Interpretations, 1890-1977. 2nd edition.
1977. Circulating Z1231.D7P3 1979.
Lists criticisms in books and articles about drama from all centuries and continental Europe. Supplements I-III bring coverage up to 1990.
Drama: Collections of Essays
Kolin, Philip C. American Playwrights Since 1945: A Guide to Scholarship, Criticism, and Performance. 1988. Ref. Z1231.D7 A53 1988.
Bibliographic essays analyze the reputations of 40 playwrights and offer a production history of their works.
Magill, Frank Northern. Critical Survey of Drama: English Language Series. 5 vols. 1985. Ref. PR 625.C74 1985
Volumes 1-5 contain brief critical essays about 198 English language dramatists. Volume 6 contains essays on various aspects of the history and the development of English language drama.
IBID. Critical Survey of Drama: Foreign Language Series. 6 vols. 1986. Ref. PR625.C74 1985
Volumes I-IV contain brief critical essays that examine representative plays and major themes of dramatists who wrote in language other then English. Volume 6 contains overview essays on drama of various periods and geographical areas.
Alexander, Harriet Semmes. American and British Poetry: A Guide to the Criticism from 1925-1978. 1984. Ref. Z1231.P7 A44 1984.
Lists criticism about poems of a thousand lines or less.
Kuntz, Joseph Marshall. Poetry Explication: A Checklist of Interpretation Since 1925 of British and American Poems Past and Present. 1962. Ref. Z2014.P7 K8
Lists a selection of explication of poems under 500 lines.
Poetry: Collections of Essays
Magill, Frank Northern. Critical Survey of Poetry: English Language Series. 5 vols. 1984. Ref. PR502.C85
Extensive articles cover poets and poetry form Beowulf to the present. Volume 5 includes essays on various traditions in poetry, poetry of different centuries and a glossary of terms.
Bibliographies to Literary Criticism
Leary, Lewis Gaston. Articles on American Literature. 3 vols. 1990-1950 (Ref. Z1225.L49), 1950-1967 (Ref. Z1225.L492), 1968-1975 (Ref. Z1225.L49)
Gives a listing of criticism published in periodicals. Includes American authors of all periods and genres.
Magill, Frank Northern. Magill’s Bibliography of Literary Criticism. 4 vols. 1979. Ref. Z6511.M25
Lists a selection of criticism about literary works written by authors of all periods and nationalities.
Pownall, David E. Articles on Twentieth Century Literature: An Annotated Bibliography, 1954-1970. 7 vols. 1973-1980. Ref. Z6519.P66
Covers major 20th century authors with international reputations.
Spiller, Robert E. et al. Literary History of the United States. 4th ed. 3 vols. 1974. Ref.
Volume 2 contains bibliographies in essay form for 207 American authors of all periods and genres.
Twentieth Century American Literature. 8 vols.. 1985. Ref. PS221.T834 1985
Volume 8 contains a bibliographical supplement and index.
Twentieth Century British Literature. 5 vols. Ref. PR473.T84 1985.
Volume 6 contains a bibliographical supplement and index.
Watson, George. The New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature. 5 vols. 1969-1977. Ref. Z2011.N45.
Lists criticism concerning literature of Britain (excluding Celtic) and about British authors whose reputations were established by 1950. Also includes primary sources by the same authors.
Indexes: Sources for Current Information
Essay and General Literature Index. 1900- .
Indexes, selectively, chapters of books, and books containing essays. To locate an essay for a specific literary work, look under the author of that literary work (Plato, Nabokov, etc.). Essays are also listed under the specific topic the essay discusses, such as theme, genre, or a literary period.
Humanities Index. 1974- .
Articles about a specific literary work are listed under the author of that work. Articles are also listed under the specific topic the literary work falls under, such as theme, a genre, or a literary period.
MLA International Bibliography of Books and Articles on the Modern Language and Literature. 1921/25- . Reference Stacks Z7006.M64
An index to books, part of books, periodical articles and dissertations. This index arranges its entries by national literature, then by period or century. Comprehensive coverage. To locate a specific literary theme, author, genre or groups of authors, use the subject volume.
Using OWL to Find Criticism
Books or collection of essays devoted to a national literature or genre:
At the search menu select #3, SUBJECT. Using the name of the national literature and/or genre followed by “History and Criticism”, i.e.:
American Fiction History and Criticism
Drama History and Criticism
Poetry History and Criticism
Books or collections of essays devoted to a specific literary theme or group of authors:
Check for subject headings listed in the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). These are big red volumes located next to the OWL terminals. At the search menu, select #3, SUBJECT, and type in the exact subject heading:
Nature in Literature
To locate a book about a specific author, select #3 SUBJECT, type in the author’s name and select from these subheadings:
Criticism and Interpretation